Oman Air said the airline has seen a considerable increase in its passenger volume with 1,984,853 passengers registered in 2008 as against the 1,513,071 the previous year.
The airline recorded a 31 per cent increase in the passenger traffic mainly on Saudi Arabian routes with both Jeddah and Riyadh reflecting triple digit increases of passenger percentage numbers.
The significant rise in passenger numbers in difficult trading conditions reflects well on the current strategies adopted by major stakeholders within the Sultanate, said a top official.
Barry Brown, Oman Air’s vice president commercial said, "“These are definitely challenging times and while the passenger volumes are encouraging our yields remain under pressure and at the end of the day that’s what really counts."
"Oman, while not claiming to be untouched by financial slowdown is in far better position than many other destinations. The Government has implemented a carefully planned tourism strategy with the ministry and Oman Air initiating “Partnership Oman” bringing key stakeholders together to form a focused sales and marketing group," he remarked.
"The carrier has seen triple digit increases of passenger percentage numbers in Jeddah and Riyadh. Amman, Beirut, Dubai and Kuwait have also grown considerably and the carrier had added extra services to cater to the growing demand," Brown added.
“Strong growth from within the Middle East continues for corporate travel and we have also attracted a growing number of leisure travellers that have discovered our unspoilt traditions though influenced by modern comforts.
‘Partnership Oman’ will be launching a major tourism drive throughout the Middle East in the coming months showcasing the Sultanate’s array of offerings. This drive will focus on “Short Breaks” as we are only an hour or two away from most of our target areas and we can offer fast paced or relaxing packages.”
Brown notified that the airline is gearing for continued growth and has recently commenced direct operations to London Heathrow and will replace their A310 aircraft with an A330 aircraft from May 1.
Bangkok services will also be operated with an A330 aircraft starting from May 17 and all will offer in-seat inflight entertainment and upgraded meal services.
Oman Air will also take the delivery of 4 more A330 aircraft later in the year and will be offering state of the art inflight experiences to an expanded range of European and Asian destinations, he said.